How to Out Bid at the Last Moment on eBay

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Out Bid at the Last Moment on eBay
Most eBay bidders learn how to outbid through experience and trial and error. (étiquette "sold" image by dead_account from

Purchasing items on eBay is a great way to get a good deal without leaving the comforts of your own home. When you're bidding on an item you really want, it's a disappointment to be outbid in the last few seconds of the auction. Use techniques learnt by most eBay bidders through experience so you can increase your chances of outbidding the previous high bidder on the item you want in the last seconds of the auction.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Timer

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  1. 1

    Place the auction in which you're interested in bidding in the "Watch" section of your eBay page. Do this by clicking the "Watch" button underneath the bidding price of the item on its auction page. Decide the highest price you're willing to pay for the item and write it down.

  2. 2

    Schedule a computer or phone reminder of the auction's date and time if it's not on the same day. On the day of the auction, set a timer to go off five minutes prior to the end of the auction. Setting a timer or scheduling a reminder helps you to not miss the auction because you were busy doing something else.

    How to Out Bid at the Last Moment on eBay
    A timer helps you to not miss the auction. (kitchen timer image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from
  3. 3

    Prepare yourself for the auction five minutes before the auction ends. Set aside any distracting tasks and go to a quiet place, if possible, so no one tries to talk to you while you're bidding. Open up the auction page in eBay and check the current high bid to see if it's still below the highest price you're willing to pay.

  4. 4

    Reset the timer to go off one minute before the end of the auction.

  5. 5

    Refresh the eBay auction page when the timer goes off by clicking the "Refresh" button on the eBay auction page. Continue to refresh the page every 10 seconds, checking to make sure the highest bid hasn't gone over your price limit. You will see how many seconds are left in the auction on the eBay page each time you click to refresh it.

  6. 6

    Click on the "Place Bid" button when the auction indicates it will end in 20 seconds. Enter your high bid amount in dollars and cents, such as 20.13. Click the "Submit" button, then click the "Submit" button on the second page that gives you the bidding terms.

  7. 7

    Refresh the auction page to see if you have the winning bid. If you have not outbid the highest bid, you will have a chance to enter another high bid, if you want, but must act fast. When the auction ends, the auction page will state that you have won or you've been outbid.

Tips and warnings

  • Outbidding another bidder at the last second is called "sniping." Sniping becomes easier and you will become more successful at it with each auction.
  • It's easy to get caught up in the last-minute excitement of an auction. Stick to your high-bid amount so you don't end up bidding more than the worth or value of the item.

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